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CCODP launches climate change prayer contest

By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

06/10/2015

OTTAWA (CCN) — The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has launched a prayer contest with first prize a trip to the Paris climate change conference in December.

“The United Nations climate change negotiations (COP21) in Paris in December will be a key moment in determining the future of our planet and its people,” said a CCODP news release May 28 announcing the contest. “It will be a time when world leaders can make a real commitment to reduce carbon emissions and diminish the impacts of climate change.”

“With the upcoming encyclical by the pope on the environment and this being the theme of our new campaign, we really wanted to give people an opportunity to begin their own spiritual reflection on this important issue and to learn more about the principle of stewardship of creation,” said CCODP communications officer Kelly Di Domenico.

“As members of Caritas and CIDSE, we are connected to a global network of Catholics who are mobilizing around COP21, and are doing pilgrimages to Paris,” said Domenico. “We want to help Catholics in Canada feel like they are part of that. There is nothing like being there in person, and we want to offer that experience to someone committed to this cause.”

“Representatives from Catholic organizations from around the world will be participating in a conference, a mass, and a march in Paris from December 10 to 12, and the winner will get to participate in these events along with a small delegation from Development and Peace,” she said.

The prayer should be a maximum of 100 words; reflect our responsibility to care for creation and for the poor of the Global South who suffer the most from climate change and be a “call for urgent action.”

CCODP offers resources at devp.org to provide inspiration and guidance for the prayer as well as details on how to enter.

CCODP will publish the prayer on a prayer card under the author’s name for its fall 2015 Create a Climate of Change campaign. Thousands of copies in English and French will be distributed across Canada, the news release said.

The winning prayer will be selected by a jury and the winner will be contacted by July 20, 2015.

Di Domenico said CCODP had tried a previous prayer contest on a smaller scale and received some excellent entries.

“We are confident that we will get some very beautiful prayers,” she said. “The environment is such an evocative topic, especially when linked to the impacts of our sisters and brothers in the Global South, and writing in the form of a prayer seems to really speak to people in terms of expressing their spirituality.”

“Climate change is such an urgent issue and there is a great deal of momentum worldwide on this issue, as it truly affects us all, and especially the poor in the Global South,” she said. “With the pope’s encyclical, we really hope that people will be interested by this campaign and what it has to offer for taking action. Our campaign resources will be available at the end of August, and we really encourage people to come to our website (devp.org) and learn more about the issue and the campaign.”

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